The MacDonald-McDonald Coat of Arms
COAT of Arms is an emblem or a device which is displayed by titled persons, persons of royal blood, and their descendants. Coats of Arms were originally used for purposes of identification and recognition on the field of battle as well as in civil life.
It is claimed by some writers that Coats of Arms, in a crude form, were used by Noah’s sons after the flood. There are records of other Coats of Arms, in one crude form or another, at different periods of ancient history. Heraldry, however, as we know it today, did not become of much importance until soon after the invasion of England by William the Conqueror, A. D. 1066. Heraldry became of general interest at about the time of the Crusades.
The MacDonald (McDonald) Coat of Arms shown in the front of this volume is the Arms of the MacDonalds of St. Martin’s Abbey and of Slate, Isle of Skye (created 1625). Coats of Arms very similar to it are used by the MacDonalds of Clanranald; the MacDonalds of Sleat; the Bosville Macdonalds of the Isle, and many others. Numerous other branches of the MacDonald family have Coats of Arms resembling it.
This is the most widely used of all MacDonald Coats of Arms and has been in existence for many centuries. It is described in BURKE’S GENERAL ARMORY, BURKE’S PEERAGE AND BARONETAGE, BURKE’S LANDED GENTRY and other reliable works on heraldry, in some cases accompanied by illustrations and pedigrees. It has been used for generations by many American branches of the MacDonald-McDonald family.
HERALDIC LANGUAGE, ENGLISH DESCRIPTION
Arms . . . . . . . . . . Quarterly, first argent a lion rampant gules; second, or, a dexter arm in fesse couped below the elbow, armored gules hand proper, holding a cross-crosslettfitchee of the second; third or a lymphad sable; fourth, vert, a fish fesseways argent. A shield divided into quarters: the first silver, bearing a red lion rampant; the second, gold, bearing an arm in red armor, the hand (natural color) holding erect a red cross; the third, a black ship upon a golden field; the fourth, a silver fish upon a green field.
Crest . . . . . . . . . Issuant from the wreath a forearm holding a crosscrosslett-fitchee, erect, gules. A forearm holding a cross like that in the Arms, both red and both erect.
Motto . . . . . . . . . Per mare per terras. (Latin). By land and by sea.
Sir Bernard Burke, of Heralds College, London, said “Heraldry is prized by all who can show honorable ancestry or wish to found honorable families.”
Besides its family significance this Coat of Arms makes an excellent mural decoration and inspires the admiration and comment of all who see it.
It is quite appropriate that members of the MacDonald-McDonald family who have a pride in their ancestry should display the family Coat of Arms, in proper colors.